The Advertising and Propaganda student Emely Monteiro, 19, uses the YouTube when you need to improve another language or to venture into a new hobby. On the platform, she says she has already studied English, Spanish, mathematics, digital marketing and even recipes. All without paying a cent.
With college, YouTube has become an extension of the classroom, as many concepts learned in the traditional environment are unclear. And the pandemic further motivated the use of the platform in academic academic life. “With online classes, many questions arise that teachers, due to distance, cannot always answer. For this reason, YouTube ends up being the best way out ”, reports Monteiro.
The same happens with Larissa Palmeira, 20, who studies physiotherapy and uses videos as a complement to graduation. “I have already learned several subjects in my course, from genetics, embryology and even anatomy”, he says. For her, the opportunity to study through the website without paying is very beneficial, especially considering that many students cannot pay for private lessons.
YouTube has been influencing the way of learning and education experts are unanimous in saying that the site contributes to learning. In addition, research reveals that there is appeal and approval from those who use YouTube as an extension of the school and also from those who want to learn something on their own.
Brazilians use YouTube to expand knowledge
Emely and Larissa are not alone. Data show that many Brazilians access the channels to expand knowledge. The latest research on the topic (Viewers Google / Provokers), 2018, reveals that 9 out of 10 Brazilians use YouTube to study.
The figures show that 93% use YouTube to learn how to make minor repairs at home, 87% seek to develop professional skills, while 73% want sports and fitness tips.
“If we look at YouTube as a gigantic library, containing all imaginable interests, its potential for learning is very high”, analyzes Marcelo Sabbatini, who is a professor at the Education Center at the Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE). “As an informal learning resource, yes, it enables learning”.
Another study by Pearson, a British digital education company, reveals the impact of education outside the classroom. Generation Z (born between the 90s and 2010) ranks YouTube as the preferred way to learn something, the survey reveals.
For this group, the Google video site surpasses lectures, activities with colleagues, applications and even books. However, teachers continue to lead as favorites.
Sabbatini points out that YouTube cannot be considered a teaching (or education) platform, considering that the pedagogical process is much broader, formed by connections between theory and practice, interactions between teachers and colleagues, in addition to evaluations. “Even well-structured courses will require other tools and actions to provide a complete learning experience”, he points out.
Technology fosters the democratization of education
In Brazil, channels dedicated to the entrance exam (including ENEM), curiosities and financial education are among the favorites. The World Manual, for example, leads this list with 13 million subscribers. Then they appear: Nostalgia (13 million), Save Me! (5.2 million), Uncomplicated (3.1 million), Professor Noslen (2.9 million), Nerdology (2.9 million) and Marcos Aba Mathematics (2.9 million).
In an interview with Tecnoblog, Iberê Thenório, creator and presenter of the Manual do Mundo, says that the channel – which became a company – emerged from the idea of “teaching people to do things at home”. Iberê says that the objective was to increase knowledge, however, he and his wife, Mari Fulfaro, who is also a presenter on the channel, did not expect this proportion.
“It all started when we came from Piedade (interior of SP) to São Paulo (Capital) and we saw that people used insurance to change car tires and do small repairs at home,” he says. “In Piedade, everyone knew how to do this and we were impressed with this thing of calling someone to do it”.
Considered the largest science and technology channel in Brazil, the Manual already impacts the lives of many students. The couple receives several messages from people who answered ENEM questions thanks to the videos. There are also stories of those who decided to pursue a scientific career due to the influence of the contents.
Manual do Mundo became a content producer and also the main work of the couple. The company now has editors, screenwriters, videographers, photographers and even physicists.
With the pandemic, the use of YouTube for study has grown exponentially. In the report, the company reported that it noticed a slight increase in the use of the platform by Brazilians looking for news, entertainment and learning.
“The average daily views of videos with ‘home schooling’ in the title has increased by more than 120% globally since March 2020, compared to the rest of the year,” says Clarissa Orberg, Manager of Strategic Partnerships for Children and Educational Content on YouTube Brazil.
EduTubers and how education channels emerge
EduTubers: this is how teachers who dedicate themselves to teaching on YouTube are known, and there are many specialties. It is possible to learn everything through the platform: English, mathematics, history, chemistry and even areas such as video editing, music, digital marketing and stop motion.
With an eye on it, YouTube launched YouTube Edu in 2013, in partnership with the Lemann Foundation. The exclusive education channel gathers content guided by the National Curricular Base that is intended for students of Elementary and High School, including those studying for ENEM.
According to Orberg, “over the years, more than 450 channels have undergone a rigorous evaluation process and have been approved to be part of the project”. The company also created the Aprender hub, which gathers publications from different areas of knowledge, all free of charge.
A teacher for 26 years, Angela Pereira, 45, is dedicated to teaching math on YouTube and, at the same time, teaches at a public school in São Paulo. Created in September 2015, the channel, entitled Professor Angela Matemática, is about to complete 900 thousand subscribers, considered one of the largest mathematics channels in the country.
To Tecnoblog, Angela says that she always wanted to be a teacher, since she was little. Before joining the site, he started teaching new students who came from different schools. As each child has his own learning pace, he started giving tutoring classes to the new class. In parallel, he also indicated video lessons from other YouTube teachers, who are now his friends.
In the first month of tutoring, the extra classes worked, but things went wrong when some students forgot or lost their study notebooks. “My husband watched me walking around with that pile of notebooks up and down and one day he said: ‘set up a channel and film your classes’. I liked the idea and decided to create a channel that would serve as a reinforcement for my students ”.
After that, Professor Angela Mathematics grew, as did the responsibility. “It was you who showed me that math is not that difficult,” wrote one student in one of his videos.
Two years ago, Angela received an email from a woman from the interior of Santa Catarina who had the dream of being an engineer, but the family did not approve of her decision, claiming that engineering is not a profession for women. In the email she says that one day she found the math channel and was surprised by the videos. “Wow, female math teacher [no YouTube]”, He said, and from there, he started to study.
“She felt inspired to maintain this dream and took the entrance exam to study mechanical engineering at the Federal University of Santa Catarina – and passed. Then, this student sent an email thanking me that I was her source of inspiration, not only for helping with the video lessons, but for being a woman and showing her that it is possible ”, says Angela. “I was very moved and it moved me a lot”.
Regarding the challenges of dealing with two different audiences, Angela explains that in the classroom she needs to arouse the interest of the student, who is often not so willing. On YouTube, on the other hand, viewers are looking for Angela; they ask and suggest content and the teacher produces.
“Knowledge changes our lives”
Graphic designer Héber Simeoni, 33, has been on YouTube for 11 years. He is dedicated to teaching audio editing, video, visual effects, Photoshop montages, among others. It all started when he was not very happy with a job and managed to migrate to an educational institution in São Paulo.
In the new company, where he works with distance learning classes, Simeoni took advantage of his free time to create tutorials for After Effects, Premiere, Photoshop, in addition to Cinema 4D and Zbrush, and then posted all this content on his channel – today with 235 thousand subscribers.
On the platform, Simeoni is known for teaching in a playful way and with simple language, strategies used to help all types of audiences that reach his content. “I love what I do, for me, it’s fun, I just try to take it to the student”, he tells the Tecnoblog. “I think that knowledge changes our lives, but the way that knowledge is transmitted can really mark people.”
Since 2014, the audiovisual EduTuber sees its channel as a company. In addition to all the tasks of preparing the videos, he always sets aside time in the day to answer students’ questions, enjoy and answer other comments.
This proximity to those who watch is recurrent among EduTubers and it goes beyond the video platform. Carol Gonzalez, 29, is the owner of Maria Marcolina Filmes who, in addition to being a stop motion producer, also became a “school” with videos on YouTube and on her own platform.
To attract such a segmented audience, Gonzalez regularly uses Instagram and Telegram, which serve as channels for sharing knowledge. “An animation that I taught to do on YouTube, the person will see the result on Instagram and I think this interaction between the networks is cool,” he says.
On Telegram, specifically, she often shares audio insights, PDFs, videos about stop motion and other study materials. “On Instagram and Facebook, you are always at the mercy of the algorithm, unlike Telegram, which, if the person registered on your list, they will receive 100% of what you send,” he says.
On YouTube about a year ago, Carol decided to bet on the platform while doing a stop motion master in Barcelona, Spain. With just over 1,500 subscribers, the channel aims to not only teach animations, but also focuses on helping to attract customers through animations and to understand complex terms in the area.
Is it possible to live just like EduTuber?
Despite its wide reach and considerable numbers, working with YouTube has its challenges and limitations there. The EduTubers heard by the report report that only YouTube does not pay the bills, so the video platform serves as an income supplement.
“YouTube is just to have some extra money when things get tough or to put together [dinheiro] to buy any equipment I need ”, says Simeoni.
Angela did not leave the school corridors. However, during the pandemic, she has been working from home to keep her students out of class. At the same time, it creates content for the channel. As for income through YouTube, she remembers that her channel is like a “library”, which ends up influencing monetization.
“It is a library where people need a subject and then they go looking for it; it is not the same thing as an entertainment channel that, let’s suppose, the viewer likes that person and then all the video he publishes, the person goes there to watch, ”explains Angela.
Clarissa Orberg says that YouTube “continually seeks to expand the resources available and provide support so that creators can share relevant educational content and that users find what they are looking to learn quickly and efficiently”.
Access is still restricted
Like education, access to all of these freely available content is still restricted. Many of them do not reach all young Brazilians, which ends up triggering another debate about the democratization of education.
Alexsandra Oliveira, PhD in Education and Adjunct Professor at Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF), supports the way YouTube helps in education, but also makes important observations. “I believe that the platform is an important educational resource, especially in this moment of social isolation, remote education, emergency education and also when we talk about distance education”.
“But we cannot stop talking about social exclusion, of students who do not have access to the internet. We live in a country marked by social exclusion. What will we do with public school students who do not have access to technologies? Are we going to exclude them from the right to learn? ”He asks.
At least 4.8 million children and adolescents do not have access to the internet in Brazil; they are Brazilians aged 9 to 17 years old, reveals the TIC Kids Online Brasil 2019 survey, found between October 2019 and March 2020. The situation is even worse in rural areas, in the North and Northeast regions, and in class D households and is.
Many EduTubers also advocate a change in the traditional education system. In the videos, they usually use simpler, more humorous language and, with technology, they manage to explain in a more didactic way.
Alexsandra defends this “modernization”, but stresses that this must happen in a broader way, considering, also, transformations in administrative, pedagogical and financial areas.
Pending this change, education experts believe that teachers can take advantage of this vast material on YouTube in the classroom. “[Eles podem usar], as teaching methodology, didactic, with the mediation of the teacher in the process. However, we have yet another challenge to overcome, including everyone in a classroom ”, concludes Alexsandra.